The U.S. Department of Education recently published critical information related to various grant opportunities available to charter schools under the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (“CSP”), as follows:
On July 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education released its updated fiscal year application for the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (“CSP”) – National Dissemination Grant (“Dissemination Grant”). Competitive grants are now available to disseminate best practices regarding charter schools, including practices for strengthening charter school authorizing and oversight. State educational agencies, state charter school boards, state Governors, charter school support organizations, public chartering authorities, and public and private nonprofit organizations that operate, manage, or support charter schools can apply. These groups can also apply as partners and/or consortiums. Applicants are strongly encouraged (but are not required) by the U.S. Department of Education to submit a notice of intent to apply by August 8, 2022, and applications are due by August 22, 2022. Additional information about the application process can be found here.
On July 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education opened applications for the CSP’s Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (“Developer Grant”) program. Eligible applicants include individuals or groups of individuals (including public or private nonprofit organizations), which may include teachers, administrators, and other school staff, parents, or other members of the local community in which a charter school project will be carried out. Program-specific and other eligibility requirements can be found here.
The CSP’s Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (“CMO Grant”) is next expected to invite applications in 2023. Generally, the CMO Grant is available to a charter management organization that is a nonprofit organization that operates or manages a network of charter schools linked by centralized support, operations, and oversight. Program-specific and other eligibility requirements can be found here.
Through these various grants, the CSP provides funds to:
- create promising new public charter schools;
- replicate high-quality public charter schools; and
- disseminate information about effective practices within charter schools.
Additionally, federal funds may also be available to support charter schools to:
- find suitable facilities;
- reward high-quality charter schools that form exemplary collaborations with traditional public schools; and
- invest in other national initiatives that support charter schools.
Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education has declared that “[t]he major purposes of the CSP are to expand opportunities for all students, particularly underserved students, to attend charter schools and meet challenging State academic standards; provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of public charter schools; increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the United States; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families, and communities; share best practices between charter schools and other public schools; aid States in providing facilities support to charter schools, and support efforts to strengthen the charter authorizing process.”
CPS Revised Rules and Regulations
The current and pending release of these grant applications comes after zealous advocacy by California charter school leaders and supporters to ensure that the revised CSP program rules and regulations are aligned to the needs of public charter schools, including but not limited to:
- encouraging – but not requiring – collaboration between charter schools and traditional school systems;
- clarifying that applicants can use a range of possible evidence for a needs, but not a community impact analysis; and
- encouraging diverse student enrollment but acknowledging the high-quality educational opportunities that many charter schools offer.
The newly revised rules and regulations can be found here.